What is your professional or training background?
I have had a few jobs which have most certainly influenced the way I work - although at the time I hated most of them!! I have a Bachelor of Fine Art where I majored in drawing from Victorian College of the Arts. Straight after uni I started working in the advertising & marketing department for a big fat fabric company creating their junkmail. From there I worked for a Nursery Company creating kids bedding, it was there that I started creating patterns and really learning how to design commercially. I left there to have my oldest daughter and began freelancing. Doing pattern creation, corporate design, food packaging and book illustration. A couple of years later I started the auntycookie blog and things kind of grew from there.
What do you make, create or do?
The AuntyCookie range is created by all hand - this includes screen printed fabrics, cushions, patterns, kits, and artwork. With products available online aswell as through retailers Australia-wide. I do everything but the printing! All the sewing, packaging, marketing and admin.
At the moment I am busy juggling kids and keep my stock levels up for my retailers & my online shop. Exploring new projects will be more along the lines of collaborations with other designers so I can offload a portion of the work!
What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
Organisational skills! I spend a lot of the time updating retailers, Etsy, stylists and writing my blog to keep the business ticking. I don't mind doing this but I have to be careful to factor in design time as well, if not actually 'designing' something then planning, sourcing and brainstorming future products. Everyone I have come into contact with over the past few years who can help me in any of these areas is taken advantage of! If someone I know writes for a magazine then I contact them every time I have a new product. Doing this as well as the school pick ups means I have to be organised.
List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
+ www.kootoyoo.com - Kirsty is my go to girl when I have any ideas I think are plausible. She has such a fresh and innovative take on things, always great tips on how to make a product better and is uber-generous with her ideas & skills. And she can turn rubbish into handmade art - she's a freak I tell you!
+ www.thedesignfiles.net - Lucy saves me from leaving my house to see anything in Melbourne! she is dedicated and passionate about her blog and it shows.
+ www.trueup.net - A great source of whats happening around the textile industry - new ranges, vintage inspiration & designer interviews.
+ www.flickr.com - I love stalking peoples favourites, I'm not sure why. Visual time waster!!
Contact Shannon via auntycookie/at/gmail.com
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